TORY TV LICENCE CUTS COST SCOTTISH PENSIONERS £40MILLION IN 2020
Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Peter Grant has called on the Chancellor to U-turn on Tory cuts to the free TV licence for over 75s, and increase the uptake of Pension Credit ahead of the next financial year - as new analysis suggests Scottish pensioners have been hit with a £40million bill in 2020. Research from the House of Commons Library has revealed the overall cost to pensioners from the Tory cut to funding could be as much as £498 million across Great Britain and £40million to pensioners in Scotland a year, based on the cost of the TV licence in 2020/21. According to the analysis, the latest figures show there are approximately 251,000 people over the age of 75 in Scotland impacted by the cuts that are not claiming Pension Credit - while the cost of a standard TV licence is £157.50. New rules that came into force in August 2020 mean that pensioners over the age of 75 are only entitled to the free TV licence if they also receive Pension Credit. Mr Grant said: “Especially in these times of social distancing and staying at home, TV can be a lifeline for our older people and provide the company that is desperately needed. A decade of damaging Tory government cuts has already left older people in Scotland worse off - and by axing the free TV licence for over 75s the Tories have increased living costs even further.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of our finances, and the Tory government are making things even worse by taking away key benefits, presiding over the lowest state pension of any developed country, and denying women born in the 1950s pension justice.
“I urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reintroduce the free TV licence for over 75s, regardless of whether they qualify for Pension Credit or not.
"The Tories don’t seem to be interested in supporting our older population. With Westminster failing Scotland, it is clear that the only way to properly protect our interests and tackle pensioner poverty is with the full powers of independence."